UA student, former Wilbur to embark on cross-country bike ride for charity

UA senior and current Wilbur Joe Previte and his lifelong friend will embark on a 7,700 mile bike trek as part of their post-grad plans to raise awareness for Outdoor Outreach

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Tom Price | The Daily Wildcat

Joe Previte stands with his bike outside the Park Student Union on Thursday, April 21. Previte and Jordan Mishlove plan to ride across the country on their bikes this summer.

This is not your average road trip. Joe Previte, a senior majoring in global and intercultural understanding and the man under the Wilbur mask, and his friend Jordan Mishlove, a student at San Diego State University, plan to ride 7,700 miles across the country this summer. 

While driving cross country is daunting enough, that’s not the plan for these two. Previte and Mishlove will bike the entire trip to raise money and awareness for the charity Outdoor Outreach.

Photo: Darien Bakas

Joe Previte stands as Wilbur with his bike in McKale Center on Thursday, April 21. Previte has worn the Wilbur suit for the 2015-2016 season and plans to ride across the country on his bike this summer.

Friends since 3rd grade, the two wanted to bike across the country for a cause after their graduations and to do so have partnered with Outdoor Outreach, an organization that “use[s] the outdoors to inspire youth to see possibility and opportunity in their lives,” according to the charity’s website. Previte also said they are partnering with Ben’s Bells, a local nonprofit focused on spreading kindness.

According to Previte, two of the biggest barriers between urban youth and the outdoors are transportation and money. When kids have two parents that work, it’s hard to find time to go hiking or camping. Activities like rock-climbing require special equipment that can cost a lot of money.

“Hiking is free, but if you’re in a big city and want to get to a national park, it’s a long way out,” Previte said. The bike ride plans to address this by raising awareness of the issue and fundraising for Outdoor Outreach along the way. The two have already raised over $500. 

The planned journey will start in Maine, and from there the cyclists will ride across the northern part of the US before veering down the coast, over to Colorado, and finally finishing in Phoenix. 

“We wanted to end in Phoenix because that’s where we’re both from,” Previte said. “This is a big chapter in our lives, this bike trip, so we wanted to end where we started it.” Previte and Mishlove depart on June 6th, and estimate that the trip will take approximately four months. 

While on this trip, they want to raise awareness for Outdoor Outreach. They plan to do this by speaking at nonprofit organizations and summer camps along their route. Previte thinks it’s important to teach urban youth about the environment, especially with “fun activities about living environmentally conscious and reducing your carbon footprint.” 

Previte and Mishlove will certainly be living environmentally consciously on their trip. The duo plan to ride between 45 and 75 miles every day, and camp at night. While camping, the two will use a solar panel to charge their electronic devices, and reduce water by showering and doing laundry less often.

The inspiration for this trip came from another cyclist, Jedidiah Jenkins, who took a 16-month bike ride from Oregon to Chile. Previte followed his travels on Instagram, and wanted to do something similar after graduation. 

“I have a passion for travelling and I feel one of the best ways you can see the world is by bike,” Previte said.

For more information on the bike trip or to donate money, visit thebendableroad.com or follow them on Instagram at thebendableroad. If you would like to support Previte and Mishlove on their trip, do so here. To donate to Outdoor Outreach, click here


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